Affordable housing is so important to former Brooklyn Democratic Party County Committee member Jennifer Berkley that she took a leave of absence from her job as a housing advocate and tenant organizer at the non-profit advocacy organization Tenants and Neighbors to enter the race in May.
She wants to “put more resources towards eviction prevention programs, tenant organizing, and informing tenants of their rights,” and champions the creation of a database of local landlords with “exceptionally high volumes of no fault, no cause, or holdover evictions” (cases that are generally not about rent) on their records in housing court.
Berkley thinks the 421-a program is flawed. For new developments, Berkley says the Article 11 tax incentive (under which Housing Development Fund Corporations can develop or rehabilitate affordable housing) is an effective “mechanism to sustain or build new affordable units.”
But to really make housing more affordable, Berkley says, “It requires someone at the negotiating table [who is] thinking about working class people …. A lot of the work can be done with City Council members taking a harder line with developers.”
She adds, “We have to take advantage of vacant lots. But I fear that under the current council member, we’re just going to see more luxury housing.”
For more information on Berkley's plan to hold landlord's more accountable for displacing long-term tenants from the community, click here.
To read the article in its entirety, including the background information Jen provided the reporter at the beginning of the piece, click citylimits.org.
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Jen scored 100% with Planned Parenthood of New York City! She is proud to support reproductive rights and affordable healthcare access for all New Yorkers. Check out the full guide here: http://www.ppnycaction.org/voterguide2
In Kings County Politics on July 25, 2017:
“The issue of housing really overshadows everything else that is happening in our community,” said Berkley, who works as an advocate/organizer with Tenants and Neighbors. “If we can’t get the housing part right, how are we going to improve people’s lives? Read more here.
Brooklyn's District 40 City Council candidate Jen Berkley, a housing advocate and tenant organizer, who lives in Ditmas Park, has an idea to help members of the community stay in their homes and fight back against tenant harassment that frequently results in no cause evictions in Brooklyn Housing Court. Listen to Jen speak about her plan to hold landlords across the city accountable for unusually high numbers of no cause evictions from their buildings. Please feel free to leave feedback for Jen. If you are a tenant currently being forced from your home unjustly, please contact Tenants & Neighbors at 212-608-4320 and ask to speak with a tenant organizer.